1, Table S1). All of the adherence assays were performed at a 1.5-h time point to lower see more assay background and at a cell density that is unlikely to be undergoing quorum sensing (Surette & Bassler, 1998). Thus, the reduction of adherence
to epithelial cells shows a possible role of early biofilm formation in the attachment of the bacterium to host tissues. In addition, it does not appear that quorum sensing is directly involved because bacterial cell densities in the adherence studies are below the threshold required for significant AI-2 quantities. Complementation of the phenotype resulted in resumption of cellular adherence, suggesting that biofilm formation is critical to cellular adherence (Puttamreddy et al., 2010). Thus, we have been able to genetically correlate biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces with cellular adherence in vitro. However, as shown in Figs 2 and 3, adherence requires both biofilm-forming capabilities and additional surface activities. Deletion of two known adherence factors, eae (intimin) and espAB (type III secretion
apparatus), eliminated adherence (Figs 1 and 3). However, both of these strains were fully competent in biofilm formation (Fig. 2). This suggests that adherence requires two genetically tractable events: adhesin–cellular interactions and biofilm formation. Further studies are needed to answer questions such as how these RG7422 two phenotypes are linked and what role they have in terms of colonization and pathogenesis. Clearly, the phenotype of strain EDL933 is different from that of other O157:H7 strains; it is constitutive in EDL933 while other strains generate little to no biofilms in the laboratory under our conditions. We have used this phenotype to our advantage, yet much is left to speculate about the contribution of biofilms to adherence in other strains. Are biofilms more tightly regulated in other strains than in EDL933? If so, what is the defective Clomifene factor in EDL933 allowing a constitutive phenotype? Do biofilms form on cell surfaces with other strains, and if so, how is that regulated? Once these issues are answered, we will have a more comprehensive picture of
the role of biofilms in animal persistence and pathogenesis. We thank Nancy Cornick for providing help in tissue culture work. We also thank Bryan Bellaire for assistance with the microscopy, Gregory Phillips for the plasmid pISM31 and Melissa Madsen for critically evaluating the manuscript. Fig. S1. Quantification of biofilms by Escherichia coli O157:H7 on various abiotic surfaces. Surface type is indicated in figure title. A quantitative biofilm assay was performed as desscribed in Materials and Methods for each of the Bnp mutants and wild type (positive control). Data represent mean + standard deviation of three replicates. Fig. S2. High-resolution images (× 60) of wild-type Escherichia coli O157:H7 adhering to T84 and HEp2 cells. Table S1.